Larke was Aggieland’s first African American female to complete the entire tenure process from rank of lecturer to full professor. She developed courses on multicultural education that broadened to encompass a doctoral-level curriculum and worked with school districts and higher education institutions to integrate systemic change toward equity in the nation’s classrooms. The grandmother to six girls spent her later years at Texas A&M researching African American females and academics, due to a dearth of information on the subject.
“When you hear stories about what’s going on in schools, you have to do the work,” Larke said. “That was the great thing about Texas A&M. I was allowed to do all that research that was so important.”
Carter focused on school districts, locally and globally, traveling abroad with graduate students to study urban school systems and their practices. Nicknamed the “pied piper of recruiting,” she drew record numbers of students of color to Texas A&M to study urban education. A career highlight included giving expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the opportunity gap between Black and white children in America.
“Appearing before Congress was one of the many opportunities that Texas A&M gave me,” said Carter. “The university allowed me to soar.”
The duo’s work continues through their former students, now faculty members in the department, who are researching, among other things, how to redefine the field of urban education to include suburban and rural environments.
“They left us an incredible foundation for our ongoing work,” says Associate Professor Jemimah Young ’06 ’08 ’13, recalling a conversation with Larke years ago when entering the multicultural doctoral program. “Dr. Larke told me, ‘You’re going to come in here, major in multicultural education, and you’re going to be a professor, so I can retire in peace. At the time, I didn’t know what she meant by those words, but I do now. It’s about carrying on their work, about evolving the program and the future of multicultural and urban education,” said Young, now program chair of the multicultural education program. “I can’t quite put into words what it means to be here and to be part of their academic lineage and continue this most important work.”
To give to the Carter-Larke Lecture Series endowment, contact Jody Ford ’99, senior director of development, at (979) 847-8655 or by submitting a message using the form below.
You can also make an online gift toward the lecture series' endowment or support its crowdfunding initiative by making an online donation at Texas A&M's Spirit of Giving website.